Which city is cheaper, Bangkok or Koh Samui?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit Koh Samui or Bangkok? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
Koh Samui is a laid back, beautiful, and tropical resort island. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It's also known for nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.
Bangkok is a alluring, spirited, and colorful capital city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Bangkok and Koh Samui. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Koh Samui and Bangkok can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.
Koh Samui has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Food on the island is fresh and delicious. You'll find fine dining restaurants as well as hole in the wall dives where you can enjoy local flavors. There are also international restaurants if you need a break from the curries. Beachfront restaurants offer a beautiful setting and sunset dinner cruises are a not to be missed experience. Authentically local dishes usually include some form of coconut but there are also other common Thai dishes available almost anywhere like curries or Pad Thai.
Bangkok has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The city is filled with colorful markets, street food vendors, and a range of restaurants from casual to high end. The aroma and beautiful flavors of local dishes are a big part of the experience in this city. Dishes that you must try include Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong (shrimp soup), and Gaeng Daeng (red curry). Many foods are very spicy so make sure you order with "no spice" if that is your preference.
If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find comparable options between Koh Samui and Bangkok.
Koh Samui has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. All night beach parties, cheap bars, and lively dance clubs all give this island its party atmosphere. Young travelers from around the globe head here to enjoy music, cheap drinks, and world class fun. For the most active nightlife, head to Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach or Bophut Beach.
Bangkok is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. Cheap drinks, late nights, and crazy parties make this city a favorite for backpackers and young party-goers. Head to Khao San Road for the biggest crowds and crazy parties. Nana Plaza is another option with a three story building that is filled with bars and clubs.
Bangkok often provides a better shopping experience than Koh Samui.
Many people travel to Bangkok specifically to go shopping. Shopping options range from modern malls to more traditional markets. The malls offer bargain prices for technology and gadgets while the markets offer fabric, food, local goods, and a unique experience. The city also has nearby floating markets as well as night markets, which let you experience a different side to the culture.
Koh Samui is a great destination for shopping. The resort areas have the most interesting shops and you'll find the most options around Chaweng. There are boutique shops as well as some malls. You can sometimes negotiate prices down in independently run stores, but some places advertise fixed prices.
Kids will enjoy a visit to either Koh Samui or Bangkok.
You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Koh Samui. The island is one of the slightly calmer, family-friendly options in Thailand. It has a number of activities that all ages can enjoy including water parks, water sports, and temples to explore. Snorkeling is also fun and there's an aquarium and zoo that you can check out.
Bangkok is a very family-friendly place to visit. This city is full of energy and kids will love the vibrant atmosphere. There are colorful temples, spirited markets, and kid-friendly museums. It's good to choose a hotel with a pool, as temperatures can get hot during the day. Kids will also enjoy having new experiences like riding in a tuk tuk or taking a boat ride. There are also a number of amusement parks and entertainment centers around town.
With fun activities for couples, both Koh Samui and Bangkok make for a good place to visit.
Koh Samui is a great resort island if you're traveling as a couple. Dinner cruises, beachfront restaurants, and beautiful sunsets all make this island a romantic destination for couples. There are also spas, resorts, and fine dining restaurants that you can enjoy.
For those traveling as a couple, Bangkok has plenty to offer. This is a great city for couples who enjoy culture, food, partying, and soaking up life. Wandering the grounds of the stunning temples, sampling food at the markets, or taking a boat cruise will all make memorable experiences.
For backpackers, both Koh Samui and Bangkok are fairly comparable places to visit.
Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Koh Samui. The island feels a bit more like a holiday destination than a backpacker destination, but it still has a lively nightlife and affordable accommodation around Lamai Beach. It's also a nice place to go for yoga or Muay Thai classes.
Bangkok is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. This part of the world is a mecca for backpackers, and many arrive or depart from this city. It's filled with hostels and budget accommodation, as well as entertainment, bars, tours (and even scams so stay alert). The most famous backpacker area is around Khao San Road, where you'll find parties, bars, street food, and large crowds. If you're looking for a slightly more mellow vibe, you should consider a different area like Phaya Thai.
Koh Samui and Bangkok both offer public transit to get you around.
While Koh Samui offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. Songthaew, the Thai version of a bus, and taxis or motorbikes are the best ways to get around the island.
Bangkok has a few public transit options. The Skytrain and Metro are the most efficient way to get around. The city's crazy traffic can make buses and taxis a bit frustrating, but tuk tuks are also a fun option.
Koh Samui and Bangkok are similar when it comes to walkability.
Koh Samui is generally not a very walkable resort island. The roads have a good amount of traffic and generally aren't designed for walking.
Bangkok is generally not very walkable. The crowds and size make walking a bit challenging, so it's best to plan your day in advance.
Both Koh Samui and Bangkok have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.
The ideal length of time for a trip to Koh Samui is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Bangkok is 2-7 days.
In Koh Samui, you'll find nightlife and food. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This resort island offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
People visit Bangkok because there is so much to do. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
In Koh Samui, you'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
People visit Bangkok because there is so much to do. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this capital city has to offer. This capital city offers a variety of activities to choose from.
Koh Samui is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Koh Samui has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
People visit Bangkok because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this capital city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this capital city has to offer.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Koh Samui. In Koh Samui, you'll find shopping and nightlife. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.
Bangkok is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Bangkok, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Koh Samui is $46, while the average daily cost in Bangkok is $61. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Koh Samui and Bangkok in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Koh Samui or Bangkok? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.
Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Koh Samui:
Also for Koh Samui, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Bangkok are as follows:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bangkok:
Prices for flights to both Bangkok and Koh Samui change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Koh Samui:
For Koh Samui, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Bangkok:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Bangkok.
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Koh Samui.
Here are a few typical costs in Bangkok for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in Bangkok for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Bangkok are as follows:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Koh Samui and Bangkok, we can see that Bangkok is more expensive. And not only is Koh Samui much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Koh Samui would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Koh Samui and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Bangkok would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bangkok than you might in Koh Samui.
Both destinations experience a warmer tropical climate most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season. Although in the rainy season, it doesn't necessarily rain every day.
The summer brings many poeple to Koh Samui as well as Bangkok. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Samui because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Bangkok because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.
It's quite rainy in Bangkok. Koh Samui receives a lot of rain in the summer. Koh Samui usually gets less rain in July than Bangkok. Koh Samui gets 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain, while Bangkok receives 155 mm (6.1 in) of rain this time of the year.
In the summer, Koh Samui is cooler than Bangkok. Typically, the summer temperatures in Koh Samui in July are around 24°C (76°F), and Bangkok is about 29°C (84°F).
Both Bangkok and Koh Samui are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Koh Samui attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Bangkok attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.
The dry season in Koh Samui is December to February. The rainy season in Koh Samui is October to December. The dry season in Bangkok is November to February. The rainy season in Bangkok is May to October. It rains a lot this time of the year in Bangkok. It's quite rainy in Koh Samui. In October, Koh Samui usually receives around the same amount of rain as Bangkok. Koh Samui gets 240 mm (9.5 in) of rain, while Bangkok receives 242 mm (9.5 in) of rain each month for the autumn.
In October, Koh Samui is generally cooler than Bangkok. Temperatures in Koh Samui average around 24°C (75°F), and Bangkok stays around 28°C (83°F).
Both Bangkok and Koh Samui during the winter are popular places to visit. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Koh Samui throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Bangkok throughout the year.
December to February is the dry season in Koh Samui. November to February is the dry season in Bangkok. Koh Samui usually gets more rain in January than Bangkok. Koh Samui gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Bangkok receives 9 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.
Koh Samui is cooler than Bangkok in the winter. The temperature in Koh Samui is usually 22°C (72°F) in January, and Bangkok stays around 27°C (80°F).
The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Koh Samui and Bangkok. Plenty of visitors come to Koh Samui because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Bangkok because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.
Also, May to October is the rainy season in Bangkok. In April, Koh Samui usually receives less rain than Bangkok. Koh Samui gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Bangkok receives 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the spring.
In the spring, Koh Samui is cooler than Bangkok. Typically, the spring temperatures in Koh Samui in April are around 24°C (76°F), and Bangkok is about 31°C (87°F).
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||22°C (72°F)||51 mm (2 in)||27°C (80°F)||9 mm (0.4 in)|
|Feb||22°C (72°F)||11 mm (0.4 in)||28°C (82°F)||30 mm (1.2 in)|
|Mar||23°C (74°F)||24 mm (0.9 in)||29°C (85°F)||29 mm (1.1 in)|
|Apr||24°C (76°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)||31°C (87°F)||65 mm (2.6 in)|
|May||25°C (77°F)||164 mm (6.5 in)||30°C (86°F)||220 mm (8.7 in)|
|Jun||25°C (77°F)||145 mm (5.7 in)||29°C (85°F)||149 mm (5.9 in)|
|Jul||24°C (76°F)||143 mm (5.6 in)||29°C (84°F)||155 mm (6.1 in)|
|Aug||24°C (76°F)||140 mm (5.5 in)||29°C (84°F)||197 mm (7.8 in)|
|Sep||25°C (76°F)||196 mm (7.7 in)||28°C (83°F)||344 mm (13.5 in)|
|Oct||24°C (75°F)||240 mm (9.5 in)||28°C (83°F)||242 mm (9.5 in)|
|Nov||23°C (74°F)||335 mm (13.2 in)||27°C (81°F)||48 mm (1.9 in)|
|Dec||23°C (73°F)||134 mm (5.3 in)||26°C (79°F)||10 mm (0.4 in)|
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